Kataragama Museum

Located within the fabled city of gods, the Kataragama Museum is a unique museum in Sri Lanka that serves as a beacon for many a history buff to explore Sri Lanka’s multi religious history. Possessing a great many exhibits that belong to the major religions of the country, namely; Buddhism, Hinduism and even Islam, the Kataragama Museum proves to be a key to understanding Sri Lanka’s diverse, but united culture. Thus making it all the more enticing to visit.

Best Known For

  • Located in close proximity to one of the major historical sites in Sri Lanka, the ‘Kataragama Devalaya’, the Kataragama Museum is famed for showcasing some of the more exquisite artifacts of Sri Lanka that interlinks the main religions of the country.
  • Coupled with the fact that most exhibits on display have been excavated from nearby archaeological sites, it confirms that the city of Kataragama has long been considered a sacred site by ancient society, due to its close relationship with Kataragama Deviyo (one of the guardian deities of Sri Lanka). Therefore, making it the ideal location for the history lover to learn and understand the diversity of Sri Lanka’s multi religious history.

Interesting Facts

  • The Kataragama Museum was only established in 2008 by the Central Cultural Fund, as an attempt to allow the public to obtain an in depth understanding of the city’s historic and religious significance.
  • What makes this museum a unique one, when compared to other museums, is the contents that lie within its walls.
  • The Kataragama Museum is home to numerous Hindu and Buddhist religious items that have been excavated from nearby archaeological sites, explaining how these 2 major religions possess similar beliefs about the city and its link to ‘Kataragama Deviyo’ or Lord Murugan (a deity also believed to be the guardian deity of Sri Lanka).
  • What makes it even more interesting is the addition of artifacts that talk of the Islamic beliefs about the city, along with other artifacts from around the country, making it a venue that explains Sri Lankan culture in all its diversity and unity.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The archaeological museum in Kataragama is open from Wednesday to Monday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
  • There is no particular season for visiting per se, however, the months of July and August have known to be the period in which the museum experiences a higher influx of visitors due to the Ruhunu Esala Perahera that takes place in the city.
  • When exploring the museum, it is important to be careful when viewing the sacred Hindu and Buddhist exhibits, as many of them have been unearthed from ancient sites in the area.
  • It is also important to note that certain exhibits are not allowed to be photographed. Therefore, it is best to inquire about them from the staff before you click away.

In conclusion, if you do have some time after witnessing the awe inspiring pageantry of the Ruhunu Kataragama Esala Perahera and the ancient Kataragama Devalaya, then the Kataragama Museum should be your next destination, not to be missed. An unforgettable treat if you are that culture enthusiast looking to delve into Sri Lanka’s unique and diverse culture.

Title image by: KNOWSL


Local Adults
LKR 20
Foreign Adults
LKR 795
Local Children
LKR 10

Tickets At


Culture and Heritage

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